The Basics of Google Analytics

The Basics of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an extremely powerful piece of software that can be used to track thousands of interactions on even the biggest e-commerce websites. However, for the majority of people who have small to medium sized companies it is still an invaluable tool to ensure that your website is performing as it should be.

In this article, we will touch upon the main features of the software and explain the key terms that you should understand.


This is the first place that many people go when accessing Google Analytics and it tells you all about the people that have visited your site! Here are some of the keys terms explained:

  • Sessions – This is the number of visitors to your website during the time period you have set. This will include multiple visits from the same person.
  • Users – This is the number of unique visitors to your site in the set time period.
  • Pageviews – This is the total number of pages viewed in the set time period.
  • Bounce rate – The percentage of visitors who visited only one page before leaving the site.


This is one of the more important sections as it lets you know where your visitors have arrived from, which will help you plan your marketing strategy. Here are the key terms explained:

  • Direct traffic – This is where people have typed your website URL directly into their browsers or clicked a link in an email.
  • Referral – This is where people have clicked on a link to your website on another website.
  • Organic search – This is where people have clicked on a non-paid for link on a search engine results page, such as Google or Bing.
  • Paid search – Unlike the above, this is where people click on a link on a search engine results page that has been paid for. These links generally appear towards the top and right of the results page and should be highlighted as an advertisement.


This refers to how visitors interact with your site once they have arrived and here are the key terms:

  • Behaviour flow – This is a nifty little tool that shows how visitors navigated through your website before leaving. Within this you can change the settings to see where the visitors arrived from and what page they landed on, which can be particularly interesting.
  • Site content – This can be used to see how people interacted with specific pages on your website, including number of page views, average time spent on page and bounce rate. There are also options to see how many times people arrived to your website on a certain page and which pages people tend to look at last before exiting your website.
  • Site speed – This is all about how quickly your website loads. It is vitally important that your website has a quick load time as people will not wait around for a slowly loading websites. If you have a slow load time you should contact your web developers!

We have not talked about goals or conversions in this article, which are very important tools, or about the data you should be looking out for within audience, acquisition and behaviour. Keep an eye out for our intermediate Google Analytics blog article and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d prefer us to analyse your website!